Crawley Borough Council

A third of the seats in Crawley were up for election this year. Find out more about these elections.

Election 2018 Results

LAB HOLD
Party Elected in 2018 Total councillors Change

PartyLabour

Elected in 2018 8 Total councillors 20 ChangeNo results

PartyConservative

Elected in 2018 4 Total councillors 17 ChangeNo results
Councillors change compared with 2014

Most recent

Plans to improve Gatwick railway station

Gatwick Airport railway station
Network Rail

Plans for major improvements to Gatwick Airport's ageing railway station are expected to be given the go-ahead by Crawley Borough Council.

An application to build a first-floor concourse and entrance area above platforms 5, 6 and 7 will be considered by the planning committee on Monday.

The station opened in 1958 and, despite reconstruction and renovation over the years, has found it increasingly difficult to cope with the ever-increasing passenger numbers.

The application would see platforms 5 and 6 widened, with new lifts and escalators fitted to platforms 3-7.

The new concourse would have a curved roof, while canopies would also be put up over platforms 3-7.

Alterations to the land east of the railway line - to include a two-storey 'back of house' building - would mean a public footpath would have to be diverted.

A report to the planning committee said the work would help to address issues affecting the operation of the station.

Post-Brexit 'tinned food and paraffin stoves' warning

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Every district and borough council in West Sussex is to receive £1,000s from the government to help them deal with Brexit.

In a written statement to parliament, local government secretary James Brokenshire announced a £56.5m pot to be divided among county and district councils over the next two years.

However, one leader has said councils would be better off spending the money on "tinned food and paraffin stoves".

Peter Lamb, leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: "When divvied up, it's not even enough to fund one additional environmental health officer for dealing with the added checks at Gatwick - better off spending it on tinned food and paraffin stoves."

None of the councils in West Sussex have yet been told when they will receive the money.

School to expand as special needs demand grows

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

A school in Crawley for children with special educational needs and disabilities is to expand because of increased demand.

West Sussex County Council says it has earmarked £500,000 for two new classrooms and other facilities to take the official capacity at the "heavily oversubscribed" Manor Green primary school to 200 by September 2019.

The capacity is currently 164 but there are currently 198 children, aged two to 11, on its register.

The decision follows a public consultation last autumn, which backed the expansion plans.

Crawley Borough Council planners will need to approve the development proposals before work can start.

Manor Green was rated outstanding by Ofsted at its most recent inspection in 2017.

Flight training centre brings jobs boost

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Thirty-six jobs will be created when a flight simulator training centre opens in Manor Royal, Crawley.

The centre, part of aviation training firm CAE, will be housed at the vacant Diamond Point warehouse, in Fleming Way, and will include space for more than 200 cars.

Crawley Borough Council's planning committee welcome the creation of more hi-tech jobs and approved the plans on Monday.

Political row over post office

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Crawley Post Office
LDRS

After arguing about the wording in a document for more than half an hour, councillors finally agreed to let the Post Office know that closing Crawley's main branch would be a bad idea.

Plans are in the pipeline to close the large office in the Boulevard and move it into WH Smith, in the County Mall shopping centre in March.

The news led to protests and a public meeting, and finally a lengthy notice of motion being tabled at a meeting of Crawley Borough Council.

The notice, from Michael Jones (Lab, Bewbush) called for leader Peter Lamb (Lab, Northgate) to write to the government and to also meet with both the Post Office and WH Smith to stop the move.

While everyone agreed that placing the post office in WH Smith would be a bad move, a proposed amendment to the motion led to some heated exchanges between Conservative and Labour members over the wording.

The amendment was eventually voted down and the motion agreed.

Questions over Crawley data centre

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Crawley Town Hall
BBC

Crawley Borough Council plans to appoint an independent reviewer to find out why the relocation of its data centre has taken a year and hundreds of thousands of pounds more than planned.

In 2015, after a fire destroyed the offices of South Oxfordshire District Council, Crawley made plans to protect its own data by hosting it elsewhere.

The Surrey Business Centre was chosen as part of a partnership agreement with Surrey County Council.

The work was expected to take six to nine months, on a capital budget of £209,000 and £63,300 per year revenue.

In July, it was reported the work had still not been completed and the costs, as of 31 May, stood at more than £700,000.

Since then, progress has been made and a recent meeting of the audit committee heard 90% of the servers had been migrated and 94% of the applications.

Members were told work was on target to be finished by February 2019 and that a "post-implementation review" would take place once the move was complete.

Homes to be named after fallen soldier

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

A Crawley soldier who died while serving his country in Afghanistan is to be honoured by having a new housing development bear his name.

John Brackpool, of Bewbush, was 27-years-old when he died in action on 9 July 2009, two days short of his 28th birthday, while serving in Helmand Province.

Private John Brackpool
Ministry of Defence

At a full meeting of Crawley Borough Council on Wednesday 17 October, Geraint Thomas, cabinet member for environmental services, announced that a development of 37 affordable homes on the former Kilnmead car park would be known as John Brackpool Close.

The 32 flats on the site will be named John Brackpool Court.

It's a lovely idea and he would have loved it. He was a Crawley lad and loved the town; if he'd come home I'm sure he'd still be living here."

Carol Brackpool, John's mother

Crawley development plans approved

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

The development of Crawley's 14th neighbourhood continues apace after approval was given for a 350m long "employment building" in Forge Wood.

The building, which will stand between the railway line and 169 homes still to be built in the north east of the site, will be 10m high and split into 14 units.

At a meeting of Crawley Borough Council's planning committee, members were told the building would act as a noise barrier between the homes and the railway's goods yard.

A second application, covering the homes, was also submitted.

They will be made up of 58 houses and 111 flats in three-storey blocks, with 41% being affordable.

Several concerns were raised by committee members, including the numbers of lorries which would be likely to pass by on their way to the employment units.

Housing and children's nursery plans both refused

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to develop a patch of ancient woodland, which was stripped of trees without permission, have been refused by Crawley Borough Council.

Neighbours and councillors were furious when the trees in Burleys Wood were destroyed in February by landowner 3242 Investments Ltd.

The company did not have a felling licence.

The action led to an investigation by the Forestry Commission and 64 letters of objection to the council.

The planning committee met on Tuesday to discuss two applications for the site - one for five detached houses and another for a day nursery - both of which were rejected.

The meeting was told that the Forestry Commission had issued a restocking notice, meaning 240 trees have to be planted on the site by the end of June 2019.

As they left the meeting, one delighted resident told the committee: "I would just like to say thank you to everyone for listening to residents' complaints. It really does mean a lot to us to us as residents when councillors listen."

Crawley council leader criticises police

Karen Dunn

Local Democracy Reporter

Peter Lamb's Twitter exchange with Sussex Police
Twitter

The leader of Crawley Borough Council has told Sussex Police to "get a grip on the wave of drugs and violence affecting Crawley".

Peter Lamb took to social media the day after a 24-year-old man was stabbed in The Boulevard, and a couple of weeks after a manslaughter investigation was launched into the death of a pensioner who had been attacked in the same road.

When Sussex Police responded, outlining work being carried out with the National Crime Agency to combat organised crime, Mr Lamb said more officers were needed if any "real headway" was to be made.

He added: "We've highlighted to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for years how that could be afforded within existing spending constraints.

"We're living with the consequences of that failure now."

When asked about Mr Lamb's comments, Sussex PCC Katy Bourne pointed out that, in January, the borough council's representative on the Police and Crime Panel had voted against increasing the amount of money given to police through the council tax precept.

Chief Inspector Rosie Ross said "proactive and robust" action was being taken to tackle serious violence in the town, including an increase in patrols in crime hotspots.

She added: "The violence is obviously distressing but I can assure local people that we are doing all we can, taking targeted action to help keep them safe."